Friday, August 03, 2007

BCB4 Day 1

The first day of Barcamp is always crowded and chaotic and Barcamp Bangalore 4 was no different. It’s the second day the Creme de la creme of geeks turn up and most people who are serious about the camp let others speak on the first day and save their talk for the second day. There was a laid back attitude for many people this time as if the passion had gone away. Or may be they were tired or was in the been there done there mood.

After the usual noisy introduction session at the IIMB auditorium, I decided to note down the interesting sessions so that I don’t miss them and to my surprise I found very less of them on the board. So as planned I decided to hang around with the bloggers and attend other sessions whenever I discover them. As BCB4 was the first collectives edition ever, nobody knew how it was going to work. I found the idea good as there was no strict organizer decided taxonomy of the sessions, but the community decides it before getting to the venue. Nice idea. But coz of that most of the sessions got scattered around and at one point of there were many talks happening, the chances of me missing sessions were more than the previous events. And as the collectives needed sessions to fill up their time slot, a lot of low quality stuff happened. May be it was coz of the first time it was tried. It will take some time for public to get into the whole idea.

A lost NickyNicky and I went to the bloggers collective and sat for the podcasting session. The speaker was a first timer I guess but he was trying his best to show how a simple podcasting can be done. Kiruba of The Kiruba Show was also there to encourage him and give out tips but to our dismay what happened was literally a high handedness of some guys from the Bangalore blogger group over the crowd and the speaker. It was all chaotic again. There was this guy, who called himself AJ (!!) standing next to the speaker and not allowing him to talk at all. He chose to answer all the questions the public had and cut off discussions which were happening at the other end at his own will. That was something which I saw for the first time at an event like the barcamp. I don’t know if those guys were first timers there but the basic premise of barcamp is that everyone is a participant. Its not seminars we conduct, it’s a group talk. We walked out of that room and I was seriously having second thoughts of talking to a crowd like that the next day.

Luckily where we ended up was at the startup collective. Karthik from Picsquare gave a very nice talk about how they started their service and what all did they do to bootstrap their startup. How their business work and what are their future plans. Picsquare provides unlimited free storage, sharing and ordering digital photo prints in various sizes. He took a lot of questions from the audience and it turned out to be a very well done interactive talk. Kiruba was also there and I didn’t have to guess too much the reason behind why he got out of the bloggers room.

Sujai took over the mic to talk about how he bootstrapped his Shloka telecom. He made the sessions extremely interesting by his usual sense of humour; he revisited his BCB3 wisecracks that he had a deal with his employees that they will be put up at Infosys for some time so that they get married and then they come back. Someone asked him how did he conceptualise the product in the first and he said.

People ask me why I got into wireless and I tell them that coz that’s the only thing I know out and out.
The lunch was better than the last time. Met Chirayu Patel of Span Across and had a very interesting talk. Nicky had supposedly used their product and he commented that its very usable. Nice guy to talk to. Should definitely check out their product TaxSpanner.

After lunch we went to the Flex session by Prayank Swaroop of Adobe. It was very informative in getting to know how to build rich internet applications using Flex and how to make them work offline using AIR. Prayank’s presentation had gaping void cartoons featured on some of the slides and that too the one which is there on my biz card.

After that I figured out that there was nothing worth attending and was just lurking around. That’s when I saw Hari, Kiruba, Verner, Jace and all of them hanging around at the biking collective. They were having a very nice time there unwinding from the daily work load and also from the sessions they were already bored with.

I then peeped into the unband collective and saw Shourya Sarcar of GE Healthcare playing guitar. He was kinda conducting a guitar workshop and I found it very nice to hang around there with the music. Shourya was mainly demonstrating the happy and sad sounds of guitar and the main chords. Super cool Jayanth took after after him and he got on his super fundoo electric guitar playing like a rock star. He demonstrated the different styles of sounds guitar can produce and public were all awe. He showed off the processor using which he produces the effects and by the end of it he had already got a steady fan following; including me.

We left the place soon as I had to attend a wedding reception that evening but all that was there in mind was whether I should go on with my plans to give the blogging tips and tricks the next day.

Pictures courtesy MyCameraAndEye
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